200 Pupils in Gulu to Miss PLE

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More than 200 candidates in Gulu district will not be sitting for the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).   

Statistics from the Gulu district Senior Probation and Welfare Officer Jessica Anena indicates that 2,877 candidates were enrolled in Primary Seven this year but only 2,665 were registered to sit for PLE.   

The statistics which were obtained jointly by the district probation and welfare office and the education department indicate that the dropouts include 120 girls and 92 boys.   

PLE has been set for the 30th and 31st of March this year according to the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).   

Anena says that they have failed to trace the whereabouts of the candidates to bring them back to schools or find out why they did not register to sit for the final papers.   

She attributes reasons for some of the dropouts to high levels of poverty among the people, teenage pregnancy, low level of education among parents that makes them not value education, domestic violence, lack of guidance, and ignorance from parents among others. 

She however said that the education and welfare departments together with development partners are engaging parents and stakeholders on proper parenting methods and how to keep children in schools.   

Stephen Odong Latek, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner, says that denying a child the right to education should not be condoned.   

He noted that the district through its different arms is partnering with stakeholders and development partners so that all learners are helped to complete their study cycles. 

Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs on the other hand appealed with the district to wipe-out violence against children, something she attributes to the dropouts.   

She added that the government through its different programs is also promoting household income to ensure financial stability among the most vulnerable people.   

Last year, 4,000 girls in the Acholi sub-region have become pregnant in four months of the lockdown.

The statistics obtained from Human Rights Focus were from the six districts. Lamwo district had the highest number with 1,000 girls followed by Pader with 920, Agago 730, Nwoya 640, and Amuru 620 while Gulu comparatively registered low cases with only 150 girls being made pregnant.

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